When watching an epic film, our eyes glued to the screen and our physical bodies seemingly frozen in time, it can seem as if the real world, the one outside of the theatre, completely disappears. After all, that’s one of the many reasons so many people love the medium– for the escape it provides, the possibility of spending time in another world, and experiencing life from a different perspective.
No viewer sits in their seat contemplating the magnitude of effort and the multiplicity of collaborations that took place between departments before the film’s visual story reeled them in– yet they remain tantamount to the project’s creation.
The directors, editors, DPs, actors, writers, costumers and production designers come together, uniting their creativity with the single goal of taking something abstract and turning it into something we can experience– but first, someone had to go through the deliberate process of hand selecting each creative and forming a team where everyone’s talents could be fused together. Someone had to go through the process of pitching the project to studios and raising the funding to actually make it happen– and that person, more often than not, is the film’s executive producer. Someone like Argentina’s Angel Cassani.
Since diving full force into his film career as an executive producer back home in Argentina nearly a decade ago with the dramatic action feature film “Never Surrender” starring Hector Echavarria (“Death Warrior,” “Unrivaled”), award-winning actor James Russo (“Django Unchained,” “Not a Stranger,” “Donnie Brasco”) and Patrick Kilpatrick (“Minority Report”), Cassani has gone on to produce a plethora of hit action films.
“To me it is one of the most exciting parts of the film industry, as you take an idea, develop it into a script and then you bring all the elements together and make into reality what was written on paper,” explains Cassani about his work as a producer.
Since the 2010 release of the MMA-driven cage fight hit “Never Surrender,” Cassani has made incredible strides on an international scale as the executive producer of critically acclaimed films such as the fast paced assassin film “Hell’s Chain” from Latin American action star Hector Echavarria from “Los extermineitors,” one of Argentina’s most successful action films in history, the action-packed love story “Death Calls” starring Echavarria, Yolanda Pecoraro (“Dancing Still,” “Death Tunnel”) and Ron Roggé from the two-time Golden Globe nominated series “Stranger Things,” and Echavarria’s recent film “No Way Out,” which stars “Machete” bad boy Danny Trejo as the villain and the ever- stunning Estella Warren from the Leo Award winning film “Transparency.”
Considering the heavy film competition in Hollywood, it’s easy to see that it takes more than just a good story to get a film into theatres; but thanks to Cassani’s invaluable producing efforts and gift for rallying support, “No Way Out” has gained distribution from industry leader Lions Gate. The film is slated to have its U.S. theatrical release later this year.
“The story was intriguing and fascinating and it combined my two favorite genres: Action and Drama and it was largely filmed in South America,” Cassani explains about producing the film.
“The biggest challenge was matching the scenes we filmed in Hollywood with the scenes that we filmed in South America- we really had to pay attention to the details.”
Another film Cassani executive produced, which is definitely worth taking note of, is the 2013 film “Chavez Cage of Glory” directed by, and starring, Hector Echavarria. The film definitely has its brawls and action thrills, but it offers more on an emotional level than any old fight film. “Chavez Cage of Glory” follows Hector Chavez (played by Echavarria), a father and former fighter who, struggling to cover his son’s medical bills, returns to his fighting roots in the underbelly of L.A. in order to give his son the care he needs– even if it means risking his life. Released in 2013, the film garnered a major theatrical release across the U.S. thanks to Cassani.
About the genre of films he chooses to produce, Cassani explains, “Action drama as it is the most after sought genre from buyers around the world.”
Spoken like a true a businessman because, while he loves the art and process of filmmaking, he still know what sells, which is a necessary point for any executive producer who wants to be successful in the industry.
His previous work as a leading figure in the finance industry endowed Cassani with a strong foundation as both a money manager and fundraiser, two integral strengths that have proven to be major assets in the film industry, and have helped him to create a powerful reputation for himself within South America, and abroad, as one of the most effective executive producers in the industry today.
Cassani also has several other upcoming films in the works, such as the Christian faith-based feature “The Pastor” (which promises to offer a heavy dose of action) starring Echavarria and Saturn Award nominee Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules,” “Andromeda”), which is slated to be released later this year, as well as the martial arts action film “Duel of Legends,” which is currently in post-production.
Starting off in China in the late 1960s, “Duel of Legends” revolves around Dax, a young boy whose parents are murdered leaving him to fend for himself until he is taken in and trained in Martial Arts by a Shawling Temple Monk. The film follows him to Los Angeles as an adult where he is tasked with helping the FBI solve a case involving a massive human trafficking ring, an undercover operation that requires him to compete against the world’s best martial artists in a secret competition. While the competition may be the key to solving who’s behind the human trafficking ring, it also brings him head to head with the opponent of a lifetime, one who holds the answers to the mysterious murder of his parents.
The highly anticipated film stars Hector Echavarria as Dax, as well as Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa from Amazon’s two-time Primetime Emmy Award winning series “The Man in the High Castle” and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson from the film “Fire with Fire” starring Golden Globe Award winner Bruce Willis (“Die Hard”) and Rosario Dawson (“Sin City”).